More and more searchers, SEOs, webmasters and advertisers are seeing the new Google design test we’ve covered here a couple times where the ads blend in more to the search results and the font size is larger and the underlined links are gone.
Last night, at Search Marketing Expo West, Google’s head of search, Amit Singhal told the audience that “we’re always experimenting” and this design test is just that, one of Google’s experiments.
In our live blog coverage, Matt McGee summarized it as:
We are always testing things. We need to experiment to improve the product. Rest assured there’s a team of PhDs gathering every piece of data we can about our experiments and if it doesn’t benefit users, we don’t do it.
But even so, Google is showing this search result design to more and more people. Twitter, Facebook, the forums and my email are filled with complaints and questions about this new Google design.
Personally, I am able to see both the current design and experimental design when I use different browsers. Here is a side by side, showing the new ad format, larger fonts, and no underlines. Note, you can click on the image to see a full size retina view of the comparison:
For more Google experiments on their design, see our Google user interface category.
Postscript: That was fast. One day later, Google has announced that the new look is official.